Assignment 2

Assignment 2 A Multitude of Mediated Voices:  How medium, style, and location inflect voices converging in public spaces

Due Fri, February 21, 12:00 midnight; upload to GS and e-portfolio

This assignment will apply concepts and ideas you have read, discussed, and put into practice in section activities so far, but will allow you here to elaborate on this knowledge in new ways. As we’ve mentioned in lecture, collaboration is common in workplaces of all kinds, but as students, we very frequently complete assignments on our own. To provide an alternative to this pattern, your second assignment will be collaborative. 

Documenting your experience

You will work with a partner (assigned by instructors from your section), and your first task will be to collectively find a location in which both of you can listen to and interact with many forms of voices. This should be a place in which multipleforms of voice are present, and are representing using different forms of media—e.g., microphones, amplifiers, recorded sound, images, etc. Some possibilities include the location of an event or a busy public establishment. The university hosts several regular events, such as lunch concerts in Storke Plaza, IV Live and Laughology in e-Hall on Friday and Saturday nights respectively, a reading and discussion night with an author, a party with live music, an open mic night at one of the local coffee shops, a local performance or museum event, any of the events by the music department that are often open to the public, and any upcoming theater, dance, or film department events. 

With your partner, you will go togetherto that location on two separate occasions, ideally under different conditions (during two different events or once during an event and once on a regular day). You will keep a reflection diarythat responds to and reflects on a number of questions that we provide here as possible prompts:

• What types of voices can you identify? (here you and your partnerhave to create categories of what those voices are—loud voices, high voices, strident voices, musicalized voices, live voices, recorded voices, etc.).  Identify and describe at least 3-5.

• What non-traditional voices can you identify or think are present, even if ignored? (this might be more challenging, but you have had a previous section assignment that gives you preparation for this).  Identify and describe 1-2, if present.

• What mediated voices can you identify at this location? 

Identify at least 1-2.

• Are any of these voices particularly stylized or performed (are they 

musical, theatrical, or affected in some way, and how so)?

• Were any of these voices presented in live performance (like the voice we heard in the live vocal lesson), and if so, what was the impact of hearing this live voice performed, as opposed to the experience of such a voice as a mediatedperformance (video, movie, recording, etc.)?

• What do each of these voices you have identified above seem to be communicating (words, stories, sounds, music, feeling, nonsense)?  Be sure to address this for every voice you have catalogued above so far.

• Identify any influences on individual voices you noted that were affected by proximity to other voices? In other words, does the presence of other voices enhance, detract from, or alter the messages of each individual voice, and how so? (come up with at least 1-2 examples, and flesh out these effects in a short paragraph for each).

• What is the overall effect of the collective “voice” at this location, or the “voice-made-of-many-voices” or the multivocal authenticity of that time and place?

• Which voices seemed privileged or were given special status, and why?

• Were any voices de-prioritized or treated with a lesser status?  And, why did it seem that this power disparity existed?

After your firstvisit to your site, be sure to catalogue your answers with your partner.  In your secondvisit to your site, go through your answers, and see to what extent does each answer need to change and be adjusted, and document the differences.

Creating your Essay

These journal entries will form the basis for co-creating an academic but general interest essay on your experience.

Each member of your pair, will complete, edit, and turn in their ownpaper; however, the planning, conceiving, and making process of your essay should be worked out in collaborationwith one another, especially since you gathered your data, and reflected on its significance in collaboration.  Ideally, you may want to do this by having a brainstorming session in person, together, and work out your ideas by creating a sketch of your draft.  You could also accomplish this virtually as well, through text, email, or any other mode of communication.  

The point here is to work as a team, and contribute ideas to the larger conception of your paper.  That will form a basis of how you will draft your essay.  Then, each of you will go forward and write up, shape, polish, and edit your ownfinal product.  Each of your own writing styles and individual ideas will make each product unique. That being said, each of your essays can and likely willsound similar and use same information and concepts that both of you identified as critical foundation for your essay.  This overlap is intended and completely okay!

Your essay should include the following elements:


Begin your essay with a short preface that introduces your site, and explains in an engaging way why such a public location and event brought together multiple voices and why a study of such multivocality is significant and worthy for your reader to consider.  In other words, you want to relate what new thingsa curious person (think: one of your peers) could learn from reading your essay. [1p]

Observational Information

In your next section, describe all the necessary details about your observations you can draw from your collective reflections diary. [2-2.5 pp]

Underneath your heading of this section, include the date, time, and location of your observational work (eg: February 12, 2020 (12:00-1:00pm), Storke Plaza near UCen entranceFebruary 13(3:00-4:00pm), Storke Plaza near UCen entrance)

In the narrative that follows you will want to lay out:

-what types of voices you were able to identify

-if any of them were non-traditional, and what was significant about that

-if any of the voices were live and what effect did that bring

-if any of the voices were mediated, in what ways, and what effects did it create

-if any of the voices were stylized, performed, or affected

-what information (content) or feeling (affect) were these voices communicating

-if you identified any influences on individual voices that effected their message

Analysis and Conclusions

In this final section of your paper, you want to bring your analysis to fruition by relating the following questions you considered in your reflections:

-was there an overall effect of a collective “voice” at this location

-how might you qualify the multivocal authenticity of that time and place

-were there some voices that seemed privileged or given special status

-if some voices were de-prioritized or treated with lesser status, what did that do 

 to their ability to convey information or feeling 

-what did you make of any power disparity that you identified

-did any de-prioritized voice provide counter information, or perspectives that 

 were distinct from the more dominant voices

Remember, a major goal of this project is to get you to identify and persuade othersabout how various voices often converge and interact in complex social spaces. You are bringing attention and teaching others of the presence and importance of voice (building on knowledge you have acquired through your on-going exploration in this course). Your accomplishment in this last section is to go from documentation—what you observed with your partner, to critical analysis—what you collectively identified as elements worthy of study, and how your understanding of them involved applying concepts, ideas, and information drawn from readings, lecture, and previous weekly assignments. [2-2.5 pp]

Writing Requirements and Conventions

Writing Style

This assignment allows you to merge a number of different writing styles you have practiced in previous assignments—journaling, ethnographic observation, direct and engaging prose (akin to what you find in a blog), and more formal writing.  In effect, your final product will draw from all of these, but it will especially be a mixof first-person account (I, or we); but using formal, polished writing (full sentence, proper grammar, sophisticated language) that you would use in a more traditional college essay (so then, not exactly the casual kind of writing you might use in a personal journal, or in a blog).


Your ideal reader of this essay should be a curious, interested, college student like yourself, who is capable of reading more formal writing, but will more likely react to and be engaged by the direct writing style of first-person observation and analysis.  Your essay should interest a friend, a roommate, etc.

Integration of Course Materials

Your essay must incorporate concepts and ideas you can draw from Units 2-6.

We expect that your essay will use specific terms (at least 2-3) you can apply from class to this assignment.  You will want to support your arguments in your analysis by drawing from big points and take-aways made in lecture, and/or in your readings (at least 2-3).


You must properly credit your sources in MLA or APA, including in-text citations (even for paraphrasing) and include at the end of your essay a works cites/reference page.  Also include proper citations of lectures, by either citing the lecture notes and page (eg: Lecture Notes, Feb. 3, 2020, 2), or the date of lecture (Lecture Discussion, Feb. 3, 2020).

Overall Quality

Please keep in mind that this is a major course assignment. It is of a level that is more expansive and more polished than what we expect in section writing and activities. You want to plan out your ideas (ideally with your partner), carefully order your ideas, implement evidence from your reflections journals, and connect what you noted with terms, concepts, and larger ideas from the course so far.

As with your Assignment 1, remember the following criteria when you edit:

-clarity of subject presented 

-well-organized structure, with logical flow of ideas

-application of critical thoughts that bring insight to the subject

-integration of ideas, concepts, theories, and terms from the course

-careful editing of text with minimal errors

-proper grammar used

-references where expected

Total Length

Your paper should be range between 4.5 and no more than 6 pages(using conventional formatting, and using double-spacing, and 12-point font). Your total word count should range approximately between 1440-1920 words.

Final Step

Please upload a Microsoft or pdf version of your Assignment 2 to Gauchospace by Friday, Feb. 21, at 12:00 midnight. After that is complete, then take a moment to upload your essay to your individual e-portfolios.